What Is Green Power, Renewable Energy, Conventional Power?

Renewable energy is energy that doesn’t run out. Green Power is renewable energy that has little or no impact on the environment. Conventional power is energy that burns fossil fuels to generate electricity.

Green Power – An Idea Whose Time Has Come
There has been a long empassioned debate about using renewable energy versus conventional power. Much of the debate has centered around the seemlingly cheap endless supply of fossil fuels and the huge profits made by those who buy and sell fossils fuels as well as those who make products that use fossil fuels like automobiles. So far, conventional power sources has won out. Is it time for things to change?

As we head into the future from 2008, renewable energy is starting to show its merit as fossil fuel demand has gone sky high in developing countries like China and India. Scrutiny over the continued use of fossil fuels continues to gain strength as there seems to be more and more mounting evidence that shows continued unrestricted use of fossil fuels continues to cause and accelerate global warming.

Renewable Energy and Green Power – Little Environmental Impact
Renewable energy and Green Power cause very little, if any, environmental impact unlike the use of conventional power sources. Green power resources provide the highest environmental benefit of all renewable and conventional power sources by producing no human caused greenhouse gas emissions. These renewable energy sources have been deemed as Green Power sources by the U.S. EPA – Environmental Protection Agency – because they have zero emissions. Green power is electricity produced from solar, geothermal, biomass, small low-impact hydroelectric projects, wind, and biogas.
Some of the renewable energy resources that have not been deemed Green Power includes larger hydroelectric plants where there is some environmental impact. While the water keeps running in this case, the project dessimates the downriver ecology including fishing and the river’s natural ability to revitalize itself. This large impact keeps the energy resource from being deemed Green. And some would argue as to whether its impact on the the down stream ecology and fisheries is equal to that of conventional power supplies.

What Are Conventional Power Sources
You are probably already familiar with most of these sources. These sources burn fossil fuels coal, natural gas, and oil. Conventional power also uses nuclear fission of uranium which has huge post use environmental impacts. Impacts from these other power plants are felt before and during power generation. There is tremendous environmental impact from mining, shipping, converting, cleaning, and extracting these sources to get them ready to be burned. Probably the most famous one of these is the coal fired power plant. These plants burn mined coal to heat water. The heated water is then used to make steam which turns huge electro turbines to generate electricity.
Already discussed, conventional power sources use fossil fuels that are burned to generate heat to convert water to steam to drive electric turbines. Widely agreed by many around the world, but still controversial in politics, burning fossil fuels release huge amounts of greenhouse gases into the environment and is responsible for causing global warming.
Another conventional power source very famous in the world is nuclear power. It is potentially one of the most dangerous if its radioactive byproducts are not handled in a safe manner. This power source is probably one of the most misunderstood and unknown in the industry. Nuclear power plants do not explode – nuclear bombs do. Similar to coal fired plants, water is heated not by burning coal but by a contained nuclear fission reaction. The super heated water is then used to heat other water into steam which then turns gigantic turbines to generate electricity. As bad as these plants can be due to their radioactivity, they do not emit any greenhouse gases.
There is no doubt that world demand for fossil fuels is going to continue to grow. There seems to be mounting evidence that power generation using fossil fuels is having a harmful effect on the environment. There will probably be a day when there is not enough oil to go around. Alternative, or green power renewable energy sources, will become commonplace. Question is, how long will it take for this to occur?